It’s A Wrap


It's a wrap!

It's December 3, and it's time to wrap up the year. I planned to write a blog around submitted Christmas photos to serve a dual purpose. One, to save me from writing a blog I pulled from the ether, and two, to share Christmas cheer. But I didn't plan ahead, so I didn't receive any submissions, and here we are.

I’ll just start writing and see what develops.

I’m always going on about how time flies, but it’s not as if nothing is occurring to fill the void. I endeavor to slow down, keep my head where my feet are, and become a human “being,” not a human “doing.” But it’s 2023, so good luck with that.

sunrise copy 2

How'd that happen?

Reflecting on the year, I’m amazed at how things accrue. The changes appear so incremental as to be useless until you look back. I published two more books, Confidence Quest, the follow-up to Trail of the Heart, and “Broke By Christmas,” my first holiday-themed story.

Toth, CQ, BBC

With many physical fairs and online events, my books are in the hands of over 7,000 readers. It sounds like a lot, and it is—until you crunch the numbers. Whoever said that writing is a great side hustle is wrong, at least in my experience. Writing might be free, and posting on Amazon may be a cinch, but marketing is expensive. I’ve made hundreds in sales and spent thousands on marketing. Even a kindergartener knows this is considered backward financially. I often wonder why I do this. The answer? Because you write until the characters shush. Focusing on what you want at the expense of what you have is the wrong way to approach the untethering of a dream. We all have little control over outcomes, even when we do our best.

C’est la vie.

With so many distractions to choose from, setting out to become a successful self-published author in this day and age was a crapshoot. But you aim, you fire, and you pray. Then, you express gratitude for all the gifts that come your way, expected or otherwise. I’ve developed in areas that needed additional depth, grown more comfortable with the passage of time and the scars it leaves, and become kinder to myself. It ain’t the green stuff, but it’ll do.

Who am I?

Another pastime that built on itself was time spent away from home. A week here, a weekend there, added up to me being away from my bed (which I adore) more than expected. I didn’t go far, but I went often—to the mountains, the ocean, and places in between. Mostly, I went alone, and that was interesting. I discovered a me I was previously unfamiliar with. The one with no one to care for, no one to focus on, and often nothing of particular importance to do. I felt without borders, which was exciting and intimidating.

mountain with outbuildings

Speed bump ahead

No life is lived without speed bumps; I hit many of those this year, too. People near and dear to my heart were hospitalized. Luckily, they continue on their road to healing, the desired outcome of sudden illness or injury. I closed shop on a business I’d run for fifteen years, surprising myself as much as anyone. I had my identity stolen—hard. I laughed, cried, railed at the heavens, and accepted defeats with aplomb. In short, I lived the moments available.


Life asks so much of us all, but we're still here. As the poem goes, "Yesterday is history; tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why we call it the present." There is much beauty in simplicity, acceptance, and appreciation. As this year wanes and the new one dawns, embrace your life by inventing miniature or massive dreams to motivate you to live your best life. Release ties to specific outcomes and relish in the surprising results of your labor. Best of luck!


Yesterday is history; tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why we call it the present.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt


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